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Playing Politics

Listening to the "Playing Politics" podcast from the Star Tribune and WCCO Radio is like taking a seat at the Editorial Board table and hearing an informed and opinionated weekly discussion of all things political in Minnesota and the nation. "Playing Politics" features WCCO’s Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune’s John Rash in addition to editorial writer Patricia Lopez and columnists Lori Sturdevant and D.J. Tice – award-winning journalists who bring varied perspectives to the issues of the day.

EPISODE 133
January 15
FILE - In this July 7, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Putin is more

Listen: Russia intrigue intensifies

Back-to-back stories from the New York Times and Washington Post bring more scrutiny to President Donald Trump. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 132
January 10
President Donald Trump spoke Tuesday night from the Oval Office about border security.

Listen: Washington stalemate

Primetime addresses by President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders fail to end the partial shutdown of the federal government. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 131
January 2
President Donald Trump listens during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Washington.

Listen: Shutdown showdown

The standoff between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats reflects a changing political dynamic in Washington. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 130
December 19, 2018
In this photo taken Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, Turkish and U.S. troops conduct joint patrols around the Syrian town of Manbij, as part of an agreement th

Listen: Trump's withdrawal from Syria

Allied, congressional concern is voiced over the implications of the president's plan. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 129
December 13, 2018
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Listen: Oval Office spat suggests tough governing times ahead

A televised dispute between President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders shows how political dynamics are shifting in Washington. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 128
December 5, 2018
In an undated photo from his presidential library, President George H.W. Bush. Bush, the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43r

Listen: Mourning a man, and an era

Former President George H. W. Bush's passing evokes calls to improve the political environment. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 127
November 29, 2018
FILE - In this May 23, 2018, file photo, Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court after a h

Listen: Mueller investigation targets Manafort

The ongoing probe of the 2016 campaign comes back into focus. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 126
November 15, 2018
U.S President Donald Trump, second left, watches French President Emmanuel Macron putting his hand on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's knee during ce

Listen: Post-midterm malaise hits White House

President Donald Trump faces controversy regarding his trip to France, tweets on California, and other issues. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D. J. Tice.
EPISODE 125
November 7, 2018
DFL gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz was congratulated by supporters as he was led through the kitchen to give a victory speech after his win.

Listen: Election reveals deepening divides

The DFL sweep reflects an amplifying of the metro-rural split in Minnesota. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 124
October 31, 2018
FILE - In this March 23, 2016 photo, the Constitution is held by a member of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump says he wa

Listen: Trump challenges birthright citizenship

The president continues his campaign focus on the immigration issue. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis with WCCO Radio's Jason DeRusha and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 123
October 25, 2018
A member of the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction team works outside the Time Warner Center, in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. A police bomb squad

Listen: Pipe bombs reflect overheated political environment

Explosive devices were sent to former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN and others. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 122
October 18, 2018
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Pompeo met with

Listen: Khashoggi case becomes foreign policy crisis

The disappearance and apparent murder of a Saudi journalist has international and domestic political implications. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 121
October 10, 2018
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (left), republican, along with Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Congressman Tim Walz, DFL, participated in

Listen: Walz-Johnson race heats up

A sharper contrast in priorities, and style, emerges in the campaign for Minnesota governor. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D. J. Tice.
EPISODE 120
October 3, 2018
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison on June 17, 2018, in Minneapolis. (Craig Lassig/Zuma Press/TNS)

Listen: Ellison allegations cloud campaign(s)

Accusations from a former girlfriend of the DFL-endorsed candidate for attorney general are impacting other elections, too. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 119
September 26, 2018
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Commit

Listen: Kavanaugh nomination headed for a Senate showdown

The Supreme Court nominee faces new accusations prior to Thursday's testimony. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 118
September 12, 2018
President Donald Trump participates in the September 11th Flight 93 Memorial Service, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Shanksville, Pa. Trump is marking 17

Listen: Anonymous Op-Ed dominates week in Washington

A commentary from a "senior official" is the latest challenge for the Trump administration. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 117
September 5, 2018
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, center, joined by from left, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen.

Listen: Kavanaugh hearings split Senate and maybe the nation

Highly charged confirmation proceedings reflect America's deep divisions. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 116
August 22, 2018
President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, leaves New York Federal Court after making a plea deal on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Co

Listen: Manafort conviction, Cohen plea put pressure on Trump

The president's former lawyer directly implicates him on payoffs. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 115
August 8, 2018
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, left, and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson are battling for the Republican nomination for Minnesota governor.

Listen: Primary races down to the wire

Political turbulence continues heading into Tuesday's election. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Scott Gillespie.
EPISODE 114
July 25, 2018
In this July 12, 2018 photo, farmer Don Bloss examines a tall sorghum plant in his field in Pawnee City, Neb. Farmers and agricultural economists are

Listen: Tariffs tear into Trump support

The president's $12 billion aid plan for farmers is ripped by some Republicans. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 113
July 18, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palac

Listen: Despite walk back, Trump firestorm burns on

The president tried to clarify his news conference comments, but the controversy continued. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 112
June 27, 2018
Demonstrators opposed to abortion outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, June 26, 2018. A state law requiring "crisis pregnancy center

Listen: Supreme Court rulings boost Trump, GOP

Three key decisions go the administration's way. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 111
June 20, 2018
A 2-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. The

Listen: Firestorm forces Trump reversal on detained children

As the president heads to Duluth, he signs an executive order on his controversial policy. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 110
June 6, 2018
Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison files to run for Minnesota attorney general.

Listen: A wild week in Minnesota politics

The stakes in state and congressional races ramp up as multiple seats are put in play in the primary and general election. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 109
May 30, 2018
In this May 26, 2018 photo provided on May 27, 2018, by South Korea Presidential Blue House via Yonhap News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, r

Listen: Summit an uphill diplomatic climb

Negotiations over a potential summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seem to mostly be about the meeting itself. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.